Few African species are much of a match for a pride of hungry lions. The African Buffalo (also known as the Cape Buffalo) is one notable exception, as the video and images below dramatically demonstrate.

The footage and photos were shot by Bessie Flewwelling, who was a guest at South Africa’s Londolozi Game Reserve on Valentine’s Day of this year. She and her husband Peter were on a safari drive at 6:30AM when they spotted seven lions at the bottom of a gorge.

“They were clearly interested in something up the river,” Peter wrote in account of the incident on Londolozi’s blog.

“(Our guides) quickly noticed that there was a lone buffalo and that the lions were stalking the buffalo. There was another vehicle not far off but they had only seen the lions and not the buffalo. Alfred (one of the guides) proceeded to inform the other vehicle and quickly positioned the Land Rover into the best position for watching what was soon to unravel…”

When they reached the top of the ridge the buffalo, already wounded, was facing a down a female lion.

Peter and Bessie watched as the lions set upon the buffalo twice. At one point, a lioness managed to perch on the buffalo’s back, but was unable to bring him down. You can almost feel the air crackle with tension as the injured buffalo turns to face his tormentors, while other members of the herd bravely fall into protective formation.

“It was nice to see the buffalo thwart this one. With hearts still beating overtime, we backed off from the scene thinking of our once-in-a-lifetime experience, the clear demonstration of the hardships of life in the wild and the courage that had been displayed on both sides,” writes Peter.

Watch the action unfold in the video below and scroll down to see some of Bessie’s stunning photos of the battle. Click here to see a few more images and read Peter’s full account of the experience.

buffalo faces down lion at Londolozi.

The game is on. Photo by Bessie Flewwelling, courtesy of Londolozi.

lions attack buffalo at londolozi.

The lions make their move. Photo by Bessie Flewwelling, courtesy of Londolozi.

lions on the back of a cape buffalo, londolozi

The battle continues. Photo by Bessie Flewwelling, courtesy of Londolozi.

an amazing sighting at londolozi.

A life and death struggle. Photo by Bessie Flewwelling, courtesy of Londolozi.

a narrow escape at londolozi.

A narrow escape. Photo by Bessie Flewwelling, courtesy of Londolozi.